Most Common Problems With Kawasaki Prairie 360

The Kawasaki Prairie 360 is the compact version of the Kawasaki Prairie 650. That is why it is also known as Mini Prairie. This 4×4 utility ATV had been produced from 2003 to 2013. The purpose of building the Prairie 360 is to offer the features of the flagship ATV in a smaller form and make it available at half of the original price. 

Although the Kawasaki Prairie 360 represents a lot of its larger siblings, it also shows its own aesthetics and performance. That being said, it also brings its own problems. Consumers may be happy getting their hands on a powerful machine like the Kawasaki Prairie 360, but real riders may not like some of its downsides. Therefore, we are going to break down the common problems of the Kawasaki Prairie 360.

Common Problems of the Kawasaki Prairie 360:

Every great product has some problems, no matter how good it is. This made us write about the common issues of the Kawasaki Prairie 360. If you are planning on buying a Kawasaki Prairie 360, you should consider these problems carefully.

The Absence of The V-Twin Engine

This issue can be unconventional and controversial at the same time. Okay, that may sound a little absurd, but we will explain. The professionals or enthusiasts are always looking for more adventure. So, they look for an ATV that comes with a powerful engine. The larger Kawasaki Prairie 650 offered the powerful V-Twin engine. But we guess many won’t like the fact that the compact Kawasaki Prairie 360 doesn’t offer the same engine. 

Okay, now it comes to the unconventional part. When you look from the manufacturer’s view, you may find it logical. The Kawasaki Prairie 360 is not as pricey as the Kawasaki Prairie 650. And it is smaller. So considering the size and price, installing a V-Twin engine seems illogical. To be honest, it is not even possible to install due to the size of the ATV.   

Engaging Issue With 4WD

Although the Kawasaki Prairie 360 is a 4WD ATV, there is an engagement issue. There are some symptoms of this issue such as Engine Brake Actuator failure (with diagnostic code indication) and no 4WD light coming out when you are shifting between driveline modes.

Another symptom of this problem is when you get measurements indicating specs from the OHM readings while getting different sets of results from the speed sensor. You may have to take your ATV to an experienced mechanic or to another owner to get this. 

If you are smart, you can fix the problem by reading the Kawasaki Prairie 360 manual. Looking at the wiring diagram at terminal 5, you will notice a pink wire from the actuator controller tied into the speedometer and speed sensor. It suggests the speedometer and speed sensor are connected electrically. 

Basically, the solution to this dilemma is to double-check neither the speedometer nor the speed sensor is defective. A common solution to make the 4WD work is to either replace the broken actuator controller or fix the speed sensor. 

Defective Fan  

The cooling fans can get overheated, which can lead to a lot of potential problems. Most of the time, the reason for getting overheated is defective fans. However, the fans will work most of the time. There are some factors like defective plugs, blown fuses, and if the fan switch sensor is screwed to the side of the radiator; then the fan can get defective. 

Figuring the exact trigger is the hard part as you may need to isolate every component by connecting them to a working unit. But most of the time, a fault in the plug turns out to be the main culprit.

Idling Problems

Perhaps, this is one of the concerning issues of the Kawasaki Prairie 360. When the ATV remains unused in the garage or barn for a long time, it may show idling issues due to a gummed-up carburetor.   

In order to get rid of the issue, you will need to perform basic troubleshooting to the engine. Adjusting valves or jets won’t do much good. Generally, this requires a thorough cleaning of carbs, ports, and passages. Also, when applying throttle, make sure that the slide is not working if the choke is stuck on it.

Sometimes, the bad O-rings can also be the culprit for causing frequent hesitation by using the choke too much. The timing of the idling issue is worth observing. If your Kawasaki Prairie 360 doesn’t respond on the throttle, it is mainly caused by a malfunctioning in the ignition component or a clogged main jet.          

Lack Of Equipment

Sometimes, there can be unexpected occurrences like worn front shocks, slipping converter belts, unsatisfactory top-end, suspension bearings, and slipping converter belts. At times, you may need to replace parts. Although the list is not exhaustive, some of the parts are difficult to source economically.

Moreover, the huge frame of the Prairie 360 makes it wonky. Repairing some of the parts won’t prove any convenient. But compared to the above challenges, this is minor. On top of that, most of these problems are self-inflicted as the quad ages.

General Pros and Cons of Kawasaki Prairie 360

Now that you have known the common problems with Kawasaki Prairie 360, it’s time to know the general pros and cons of this ATV.

Pros

  • Aside from being a 4×4 ATV, it allows riders to choose between 4WD or 2WD.
  • This ATV has a great 4-Stroke SOHC engine, which is capable of producing much power.
  • The Keihin CVK34 carburetor system is also great.
  • It has a decent fuel capacity.
  • This ATV produces a maximum of 21.1 hp with 26.1 Nm of torque.
  • It has rock-solid steering components.
  • Features electric start with an advanced DC-CDI.
  • It comes with Dunlop tubeless tires.  

Cons

  • Can be a bit expensive (from $4,599 to $6,499) considering the prices of ATVs that are inline.
  • Can’t use other petroleum distillates aside from DOT 3/DOT 4 brake fluid.
  • When the battery is discharged, it may take forever to turn off the actuator key.
  • It has an air cooled motor, which is noisier than a water cooled motor.
  • It doesn’t come with an odometer or hour meter.

This video shows an in-depth review of the Kawasaki Prairie 360. We highly recommend it.

Quote Reviews:

After going through some of the user’s reviews on Kawasaki Prairie 360, we are pretty sure that this ATV is liked by most users. Spending a few extra bucks, getting the 4×4 variant is more profitable.  

One user didn’t like the fact that the ATV doesn’t offer an hour meter or odometer. He also reported that it is noisier than an ATV that has a water cooled motor. However, he is still happy with the Kawasaki Prairie 360. He said – 

“I’d buy the 360 1st, because of the gate shifter, selectable 4 x 4, diff lock, rear brake, and swing arm”

We even found a solution to the idling problem of the Kawasaki Prairie 360. A user said this as a solution to the idling problem – 

“I ordered a new Shindy rebuild kit for the carb. Hopefully, that will make things easier.”

As for negative or fair reviews, we found one that is worth mentioning. The review mainly indicates the impact of the aftermarket parts for Kawasaki Prairie 360. We guess this buyer is not satisfied with the replacement part as he said – 

“Well, I got the rebuild kit and installed it and it runs perfectly now. I put a new plug in it but it doesn’t seem to have made a difference. Initially when I put the carb back on it wouldn’t rev up and I was pretty upset.“

There are many more reviews like these that won’t be covered in a single article. But we found the most relevant ones that will help you one way or another.

Conclusion

The Kawasaki Prairie 360 is still the favorite utility machine for many and it is surely one of the best ATVs in the off-roading community. Unlike the bigger-displacement siblings, it may not have a V-Twin engine. Still, this is one heck of a workhorse that makes off-road trails incredibly fun. It is can also be a great option for the kids. 

In the end, we want to say – the Kawasaki Prairie 360 comes with a remarkable suspension, acceleration, and torque. All these can be bought for an affordable price. The rest is up to you to decide whether or not you are going to buy it.

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